This article was posted on Friday, Dec 01, 2017

Investing in multifamily real estate can be very rewarding, but what happens after you actually close on the purchase and on the first day you take over an apartment building as a new owner, landlord and property manager?

Veteran real estate investor and syndicator Vinney Chopra has developed a landlord’s checklist for taking over that new apartment building asset you may have bought. On the day you take over, here are 7 critical things you need to have in your possession:

  • Current Rent Schedule
  • Security Deposit Report
  • Audit Pre-Paid Reports
  • Confirm delinquencies / copies of backup for files
  • Ledgers run on all units
  • Apartment Status Report
  • Receive copies of pending litigation

Next, on the first day you want to be sure you have delivered in person to each resident a letter from you explaining that you are now the new landlord and owner of the building and explaining how the property management will work going forward.

Also you want to contact a locksmith and coordinate rekeying of the office and safe combination and other areas where the previous ownership may have had locks.

In terms of resident communication and potential future tenant acquisition, you want to be sure the following are in place the day you take over:

- Advertisers -
  • Set up the answering machine or voicemail with your new information so tenants will know what is going on if they decide to call.
  • Change or update hours on the front door or call someone to make the changes for you.  You want to be sure anyone who comes by the office knows when you will be there.

Whether you have existing leasing agents and property management already on the property, or you are bringing in your own new employees here are some things to have in place:

Complete any new hire paperwork and provide it to whoever is handling your human resources.

  • Schedule any new potential employees or existing employees for screening you would like them to go through.
  • Hang rental occupancy and guidelines in the office
  • Hang a Fair Housing Act poster in the office and discuss compliance training with employees and how that will be done.
  • Rearrange employee hours if needed.
  • Order maintenance uniforms for any maintenance staff.

For the building and residents themselves you will need to do the following:

  • Review all approved applications
  • Check and walk new move-ins
  • Take 24 pictures or more on the day you take over the building or buildings
  • Set up with current residents your plans for rehab and when

A few more things you want to be sure to get done that first day is to be sure you dispose of all the old management forms. Also setting up the computers is an important step. So be sure you:

  • Enter all the property information in your own system
  • Set up projected occupancy reports and weekly numbers reports
  • Set up computer files for manager, assistant manager, bookkeeper and leasing agents
  • Set up the grid for doing rehab on the units that are currently vacant.

That’s a lot for the first day! But very important.


Vinney Chopra is the Founder and CEO of Moneil Investment Group and President of Ideal Investments Group.  Reprinted with permission of Rental Housing Journal., an interactive community of multifamliy investors, independent rental home owners, residential property management professionals and other rental housing & real estate professionals, is the most comprehensive source for news and information for the rental housing industry. This website features exclusive articles and blogs on real estate investing, apartment market trends, property management best practices, landlord tenant laws, apartment marketing, maintenance and more.